MEMORANDUM March 30, 2015 TO: INTERESTED PARTIES FROM: Goodwin Simon Strategic Research RE: Maine Voters, Including Gun Owners, Strongly Favor Keeping Law Requiring Concealed Carry Permits This memo highlights key findings of a live interviewer public opinion telephone survey conducted March 8 - 12, 2015 among 802 likely November 2016 election voters in Maine. The sample included landline and cell phone respondents and the margin of error for the survey was +/- 3.5 percent. The findings of this survey reveal strong opposition to permitless carrying of concealed handguns among Maine voters, including opposition among significant majorities of gun owners, NRAmember households, and strong supporters of the Second Amendment. These findings are particularly striking given that almost half (49%) of Maine voters report having one or more gun in their home, and fully 60 percent say they consider themselves to be a strong supporter of the Second Amendment. More than eight in ten voters (84%) oppose permitless carry. An overwhelming majority of respondents oppose allowing citizens to carry concealed handguns in public places without a permit. Just 14 percent support permitless carry and a mere two percent are undecided. Allowing Carrying of Concealed Handguns in Public Without Permit 100% 84% 80% 60% 40% 20% 14% 2% 0% Support Oppose Undecided Poll Results: Maine Gun Safety March 2015 Goodwin Simon Strategic Research Page 2 _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ In fact, nearly nine in ten voters say they want to keep current Maine law requiring permits for concealed carry, which requires a clean recent criminal record and the completion of a safety training course. Fully 85 percent say they would strongly like to keep the current Maine law (89% total keep). Just five percent say they would strongly like to overturn the current law (8% total overturn) and only three percent are undecided. Support for Keeping Concealed Carry Permit Law Currently, Maine law requires that gun owners get a permit in order to carry a concealed firearm. To get a permit, people must have a clean recent criminal record and complete a safety training course. Would you like to KEEP this law or OVERTURN this law? Strongly Keep Somewhat Keep Strongly Overturn Somewhat Overturn Undecided 100% 89% 4% 80% 60% 40% 85% 20% 8% 3% 0% Keep 3% 5% Overturn Undecided Support for keeping the law is overwhelming among every subgroup, including: Men (85%) and women (94%); Younger voters (85% ages 50 and under) and older voters (92% ages 50 and older); Democrats (94%), Republicans (85%), and Independents (88%); College educated (92%) and non-college educated (88%) voters ; Gun owners (95% 1 gun, 91% 2-4 guns, 88% 5+ guns) and those living in an NRA-member household (83%); Voters in Congressional District 1 (90%) and those in Congressional District 2 (89%); And, those who identify as strong supporters of the Second Amendment (86%). Maine voters overwhelmingly want to keep the current laws requiring permits for concealed carrying of weapons in place. In addition, a significant majority say legislative efforts to overturn this law would impact their voting decisions when it comes time to re-elect their representatives in the state legislature. Poll Results: Maine Gun Safety March 2015 Goodwin Simon Strategic Research Page 3 _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ A significant majority (57%) say they would be more likely to oppose the re-election of their state legislator if he or she voted to overturn current law and allow people to carry concealed firearms without a permit. In contrast, just one-quarter (24%) say they would support the reelection of their state legislator if they voted to overturn the law. Two in ten (19%) are undecided if they would support or oppose the re-election of their legislator based on this vote. Impact of Legislator Vote to Overturn Law on Legislator Re-Election And if your Maine state legislator voted to overturn this law in order to allow people to carry concealed firearms without a permit, how would it affect your vote? Would you be more likely to SUPPORT or OPPOSE their re-election? 60% 57% 40% 24% 19% 20% 0% Support Re-election Oppose Re-election Undecided The proportion who would oppose their legislator’s re-election includes a majority of voters regardless of gender, age, education level, and region; significant majorities of Democrats and Independents; nearly half of all Republicans; and a majority of all gun owners and self-identified strong supporters of the Second Amendment. Taken as a whole, these survey results provide a clear mandate for lawmakers to support current laws requiring concealed carry permits and oppose efforts to overturn or erode these gun safety measures.
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